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Author Topic: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech  (Read 946 times)

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Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« on: April 29, 2010, 10:26:13 AM »
I am sure most of you have heard about this by now.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-facetime-20100429,0,4543710.story

It is certainly an interesting issue. Yesterday's Diane Rehm show got together a panel of experts on the topic and managed a thoughtful discussion of the issue. I just wanted to post a link to that here for those interested in this matter.

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2010-04-28/violent-video-games

Offline Jude

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 03:34:49 PM »
Guhhh, this is so ridiculous.  Any game that's needlessly violent can already be shut out directly from the console in the child's home using parental controls on all modern consoles.  The only thing this will do is prevent kids from wasting their money on something they can't play if their parents at all involved in their life.

EDIT:  Most retailers won't sell kids games of certain ratings anyway by a voluntary system.  Why make a law to do something that the free market already does?  There's no problem here.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 03:44:39 PM »
Personally there is an easy solution to this.

Parents have to PARENT. That's right raise your children, discuss things with them. Instill in them proper .. behavior and an understanding of the relationship between action and outcome. I'm tired of people pointing a waving finger at everyone BUT parents for a child's deeds. I have a machine toy growing up, and contrary to the way some folks act these days I don't horde weapons, go on shooting sprees or try to recreate spree crimes.

I'm REALLY tired of video games (and other things such as rpgs) getting to be the bad boy for things like Columnbine and the rest. (Incidentally the media VASTLY misrepresented those two 'poor' boys)

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Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 04:18:04 AM »
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Callie.  It's been too long that too many parents have relied on televisions and video games to act as the parent or babysitter ... and then, to add further insult to the injury, they don't monitor them.  Which leads us to this article and the way things are being perceived now.

It's perfectly understandable that life simply isn't the way it was for, say, the families on Little House on the Prairie.  That doesn't mean, however, that parents should be any less involved with their children -- except, of course, that (in general, more so reflecting the parents complaining about all this) they are. 

Bottom line: if parents were doing their "jobs" right, their children wouldn't have access to the video games they deem unfit.  It shouldn't be the free market's responsibility to monitor and control what your child is buying.  And if your child tells you no?  Well, guess what!  You've got the power, not them -- too many parents seem to forget that these days, more concerned over being their child's friend instead of the parent.

Offline GeekFury

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 09:30:59 AM »
Totally agree with above statement it's not the stores or video game makers fault for kids playing them it's the parents, to illustrate this here's a little thing I saw personally.

I walk into a Gamestation, a kid of about 7-10 not sure walks up to his mum with GTA4, asks her to buy it, the clerk also clocked this told her he would not buy it if it's for the kid, the kid throws a shit fit and the mother goes on how it's not his place to tell her what she can can't buy for her kid. I leave and go to GAME, the motherappears there, buying the game for the kid, having said it was for the kids elder brothers birthday. Thusly getting it.

Now I don't know if she knew what the game was like, but with a title like Grand Theft Auto it's not hard to imagine also the 18 certificate rating should clue her in not for those under the age of 18. It's parents like that who will probably always end up saying video games should be banned, but THEY buy them for THEIR children then claim it corrupted them, OK so how did the kid get it? I doubt highly any shop in their rightmind would sell a child it I also doubt a child under 10 goes into these shops alone, so what it magically appeared int he child's home?

People need to learn how to look after what comes out their vagina after 9 months or don't put anything in there unless you use precaution!

Online Doomsday

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 10:02:30 AM »
Agree with Callie. Here's an excerpt from that first article that I think the Senator should think about more deeply.

Q: Your children are grown. Did you let them play with an Atari or Nintendo growing up?

A: I did, but one of the things I made sure of is that when they played in their rooms, the screen was always facing the doorway. That way I could walk by and see what was happening.

Offline Will

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 11:19:10 AM »
I agree that parental apathy is a major problem in this situation, but that doesn't mean controlling kids' access to games is a bad thing.  There is no parent so attentive and involved that their child can't pull a fast one on them occasionally.  I don't see anything wrong with keeping kids out of R-rated movies, so I don't see anything wrong with not selling them Grand Theft Auto.

That said, I don't know why there needs to be a law for it; there's already a ratings system in place.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2010, 11:22:51 AM by Will »

Offline Jude

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 12:52:57 PM »
When you first set up your gaming console there's the option of putting parental controls into effect.  You can use these controls to limit the kind of games, movies, and content that the console will play (based on ERSB ratings for games and MPAA ratings for movies).  If you take the time to help your kid set up their Xbox360, even if they somehow get access to Grand Theft Auto IV, the game will not play unless you change the parental control settings.  You can also use these settings to control the amount of time that your kids spend playing, the sort of interactions they can have online, etc.

The power is there for parents who choose to actually exercise it.  It's clearly spelled out in the manual that these options are available.  If your kid is playing violent games you don't want them playing, it's because of your failings as a parent.

This law does not empower or assist parents, the technology is already there, the only thing it does is make it harder for kids whose parents aren't involved to get these games.  I think it's a question of whether or not we should be doing that.

Personally, I don't think so, because there haven't been any studies proving that violent games cause violent tendencies.  If there's no certifiable harm being done, then kids don't need to be protected from it by anyone other than their parents.  Parents exist to make these subjective choices, it's not government's role to do that.

Offline Will

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2010, 01:18:18 PM »
They can just as easily go to a friend's house and play it, if they can't play it at home.  There's nothing that one individual parent can do to ensure that their child never gets around the rules.

Offline Jude

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2010, 01:38:27 PM »
Don't let your kids go to the houses of their friends unless you know their parents (and are aware that they won't be exposed to bad things over there).  That's how parents used to do things.

Can you ensure your child isn't exposed to violent video games at all?  No.  But you can make it very unlikely and quite difficult for them.  Internet usage is a much greater risk than any violent video game anyway; that's much harder to control and there actually is a lot more damaging stuff out there available for consumption than what you'll find in video games.

Offline Will

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2010, 01:43:53 PM »
You can't be sure what's going on in someone else's house, ever.

No method is infallible.  But like you said, you "can make it very unlikely and quite difficult for them."  That's what not selling to minors is about.  I fail to see why you have a problem with it.

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2010, 02:00:09 PM »
No method is infallible.  But like you said, you "can make it very unlikely and quite difficult for them."  That's what not selling to minors is about.  I fail to see why you have a problem with it.

Because it involves forcing retailers to parent for you. They do not and should not bear any responsibility for your children. This seems particularly redundant when you realize that retailers already voluntarily do not sell M games to minors. There is no reason this should be any more regulated than film. The retailer has the right to choose who they allow as patrons. You have the right to choose what retailers your children are allowed to patronize. Parenting ends with the parent, the rest of us are not responsible for your children.

There is also the issue, as Jude points out, that there has not been a link between violent video games, film, music, etc. and violent behaviour. This means that it is not a matter of public safety or health, and thus the choice to allow or disallow particular content is purely parental preference. Law needs to be based in protecting public interest, not catering to parental whim.

Offline Jude

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2010, 02:02:46 PM »
Every additional law added on the books results in additional overhead/burden to the entire legal system, so if a law doesn't have much (if any) of a positive effect, it shouldn't be added.  Furthermore, you're basically condoning sending someone to prison for repeat violations of any law, so by endorsing this law you are in effect saying "I am okay with someone going to prison for repeatedly selling violent video games to minors."  I'm not OK with that, so I cannot support this law, it's that simple.  A few other notes:

1)  Major retailers will not sell minors violent games anyway.  In fact, I've never come across a retailer that will.  Even now I get asked for my ID when I buy a game.  If it's corporate policy to not do this already, in general, why bother enshrining it into law?

2)  Violent video games have not been proven to be detrimental.  Studies on the subject trend in favor of them being pretty harmless from what I've seen (not to say that there aren't a few that go the other way, that's why I said trend).  Why are we restricting access to something that isn't proven harmful?

3)  There are plenty of other safeguards put in place, so this additional measure will only be strengthening security by a bit.

4)  Continuing from 3, there are still plenty of methods for kids to get access to violent games even if they don't buy them at retailers.  This law will have to be expanded to affect the downloadable market, eventually the internet, and even then there are still free violent flash games on the internet.  Are we gonna start regulating the internet to shut off the flow?

5)  Every law passed restricting video games makes it a shorter and shorter jump to the next point of legislation that video game opponents want enacted.  I don't want to set any precedence to assist in more potential media censorship.

In short, I think that this law is unnecessary, pointless, and ineffective.

Offline Will

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2010, 02:08:07 PM »
The ratings system in place already does exactly what you say, forces retailers to "parent" peoples' children.  I don't consider it that way really, it's just being responsible about what you let kids get their hands on.  I don't see what use there is for a law here, though.  I said this in my first post, on a line by itself even. 

I see no need whatsoever for a law when a market-run system is already in place and working about as well as can be expected.

Even if there is no link between violent video games and the identical behavior in real life (which I agree there is not), it seems a little far fetched to think that exposure to extreme violence has no effect at all on children. 

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: Supreme Court/Violent Video Games/Free Speech
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2010, 02:23:55 PM »
1)  Major retailers will not sell minors violent games anyway.  In fact, I've never come across a retailer that will.  Even now I get asked for my ID when I buy a game.  If it's corporate policy to not do this already, in general, why bother enshrining it into law?

The ratings system in place already does exactly what you say, forces retailers to "parent" peoples' children.

Not all retailer's require this. For instance I spent the last few years before going back to school working for a used books/music/movies/games store and we had no policy restricting the sale of M games or R movies to minors. Also, internet retailers don't tend to check age. E.g. a kid with a Visa gift card could easily order anything off amazon. It is the parent's responsibility in both of these cases.

And the entire point here is that retailers are not forced. If retailers voluntarily, for either belief, PR, or profit based reasons, decide not to that is entirely their prerogative. It is the element of choice on their part that needs to be protected.